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The first light of dawn breaks looking towards the Palace of Westminster with British Union flags flying in London, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

The United Kingdom leaving the European Union is a sign that the world is moving away from an era of free trade, says Greg Poelzer, a political studies professor at the University of Saskatchewan.

"To a trading province like us, those are signs of concern."

U.K. voters chose to leave the E.U. in a 2016 referendum and the departure became official Jan. 31.

Many predicted Brexit would never happen, but now that it’s official, the idea of Scottish referendum is "on the table now," Poelzer said.

Martin Gaal, a lecturer of political studies at the U of S, said this is "unknown territory" with previous talks of a trade deal between Canada and the U.K. compromised as a result of Brexit.

For the next 11 months the U.K. and the E.U. will be working to figure out the logistics of the departure, figuring out new trade deals in what Gaal said is an "ambitious" amount of time.

According to Gaal, England was the most eager among members of the U.K. to leave the E.U.; Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have more experience with larger political organizations and they primarily voted to remain.

The tension between members of the U.K. may have serious implications for Scottish independence, Gaal said.

In 2014, Scotland held a referendum vote of its own, voting 55 per cent in favour of remaining in the U.K.

Now, with additional strain on the relationships, Scotland may be close to its own referendum, according to Poelzer.

Carmody Hallamore, a local corporate paralegal who lived in the U.K. for more than 11 years with her Scottish husband, has friends and family on all sides of the issue.

She has followed along during every step of the process since leaving the country shortly after the vote - a decision that wasn’t solely made because of Brexit, but played a part in returning to Canada.

Hallamore said there is plenty of uncertainty to what comes next as no country has ever left the E.U. and the figuring out where to go from here will be a "trial by fire."